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Dried herbs and spices don’t go bad like other shelf-stable foods, but their flavor doesn’t last forever. As a general rule, whole spices (think cinnamon sticks or nutmeg) can last for three to five years, while ground spices and dried leafy herbs lose their savor after one to three years. If a toothsome meal is a high priority, remove old spices from your kitchen once a year, and when you buy new spices, consider marking the date of purchase on the bottom of the jar to make it easier to figure out what to jettison in your next pantry purge.
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